Dawn In The Surrey Hills

Creating a greener, cleaner Surrey

Surrey Environment Partnership Review April 2019 – March 2020

Activity and achievements

Managing Surrey’s waste: Nudging residents to recycle more

Father and Child Taking Out Recycle TrashThe majority of Surrey residents do recycle to some extent, but to be successful at reaching our recycling targets we need them to separate all their waste that can be recycled, rather than continuing to put some of it in their rubbish bin.

For 2019-20 it was agreed to deliver countywide recycling campaigns focusing on materials that composition analyses have indicated will give the greatest return if capture is increased – food waste, textiles and dry mixed recycling (DMR).

The 6Es model of behaviour change outlined in the earlier waste reduction section is also used to develop each recycling campaign.

The majority of residents do recycle but we need them to separate all their waste that can be recycled rather than putting some of it in the rubbish bin.

Food waste recycling

Some good progress has been made on the amount of food waste that is being captured for recycling over the past few years. But there is still a significant amount going into rubbish bins instead of food caddies, so it’s an important material to continue to focus on.

The 2019-20 food waste recycling campaign was a build on the campaigns that were delivered in the previous two years.

The first of these highlighted the amount of money that could be saved by residents recycling all their food waste. The follow-up campaign highlighted success to date, congratulated residents on saving £200,000 and encouraged them to do more. Tonnages increased further as a result of this campaign, so for 2019-20 we continued the theme highlighting an annual saving of £310,000.

Highlights from the evaluation included:

  • 86% of residents now use the food waste collection service with 87% of this group using it every week.
  • The number of residents who use the caddy because it saves the council money has overtaken the number who use it because it helps the environment.
  • Most people were aware of the campaign via radio advertising followed by print advertising, outdoor advertising and online advertising.
  • The campaign motivated over 40% of residents to put more food in their caddy.
  • Facebook and Twitter posts were seen 66,690 times, generating 4,736 engagements (likes, comments, shares, retweets).

86% of residents now use the food waste collection service

Clothes and home textiles

Recycle the clothes web bannerIn 2019-20 the clothes and home textiles campaign was split into two phases running in spring and autumn. These are times when residents are most likely to be changing their summer and winter wardrobes and undertaking a spring clean or clear out of textiles in their homes.

Both phases of the campaign highlighted that clothes and home textiles can be given a new life when recycled; either by being worn again or used for insulation or stuffing. The campaign encouraged residents to recycle using their kerbside collection service, where available, or at a local clothes bank or Community Recycling Centre.

Highlights from the first phase included:

  • At 53%, prompted awareness of the campaign was higher than any previous clothes and textiles campaign.
  • Outdoor advertising and social media were the most effective channels with magazine and radio advertising proving less useful.
  • The campaign webpage was viewed 17,644 times, almost a quarter more than the previous year’s campaign.
  • A video advert was viewed 31,958 times on YouTube.

Video play & laptop icon

31,958 views of the campaign video

17,644 views of campaign webpage

Phase two of the campaign was low cost and mainly delivered through digital channels. To further increase the campaign’s persuasiveness, updated messaging focused on the motivation for recycling; seasonal items of clothing and textiles that could be recycled; and detail of what happens to unusable clothing and home textiles when they are recycled.

Both phases of the campaign highlighted that clothes and home textiles can be given a new life when recycled.

Highlights from phase two included:

  • 12,824 webpage views during the campaign period.
  • The most engaged users came to the campaign webpage via social media, and SEP partner websites.
  • Facebook and Twitter posts reached 54,659 residents and generated 1,808 engagements (likes, comments, shares, retweets).

Facebook & Twitter icons
54,659 residents reached through Facebook and Twitter

Dry mixed recycling

Go Green like Santa web bannerFor 2019-20 the DMR campaign again focused on the festive period, but following feedback from recycling facilities about glitter and foil contamination it started in mid-November to try and influence purchasing decisions.

The first part of the campaign encouraged residents to choose recyclable alternatives to glitter and foil cards and wrapping paper. It then reminded them to recycle festive paper and card like delivery boxes and envelopes and later moved to highlighting which wrapping paper and cards can and can’t be recycled.

Residents were directed to the Surrey Recycles search tool and app to check how to dispose of any of their festive items. The campaign also encouraged people to reduce their food waste and provided leftover recipes and tips.

A new campaign creative featured a green Santa Claus and the core message was to ‘Go green like Santa’.

Highlights from the evaluation showed:

  • The campaign webpage was viewed 5,103 times, an increase of 54% from the previous year. Overall views of SEP’s website also increased by 36%.
  • There were 4,830 searches relating to festive recycling on the app or the online search tool during the campaign period, an increase of 74%.
  • Multiple campaign videos increased campaign engagement and were viewed 21,762 times across channels including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
  • Adverts on websites viewed by Surrey residents were seen 267,653 times and generated 73% more link clicks than the previous year, while Google search adverts were seen 32,133 times and generated 13% more link clicks.

See also

Surrey’s target


70% of Surrey’s waste should be recycled.